Christmas inevitably means a seasonal work party. The tradition of the “Christmas party” is typically a chance for the Employer to thank all their hard working employees for their efforts during the year and give them a good ‘knees up’. It’s also a great way of building internal team relationships.
But beware, don’t be “that guy”…. You know the type, the guy everyone avoids because they spill drinks over the ladies dresses, that confesses his undying love for the MD’s PA, that kisses a co-worker or that passes out on the bosses lap and do not let them anywhere near the photocopier! Other people may not have had as much to drink as you and they WILL remember the next day and the day after…
After a bit of merriment, some people can get over zealous and distasteful jokes, remarks and colourful language can often be a problem. Beware of jokes, as if they single out one specific characteristic – for example women, this may lead to a potential discriminatory claim. Sexual harassment claims are one of the biggest risks employers can encounter when the alcohol is flowing. What one person may see as harmless flirting; another could view as unwanted sexual attention. Employers can be held accountable to the behaviour of their employees as tribunals view your office party as an extension of your normal work environment.
If you are concerned about your employee’s potential merriment at the Christmas party here are a few ideas to think about. Before the party you should send out a clear statement about acceptable behaviour and the consequences of inappropriate actions. Remind everyone that it is a work event and that they are still expected to act in a professional manner and in line with the employee policies and that they are representing the company. Don’t forget to have a bit of fun though after all it is a party.
(Oh and ladies you are no saints either, quick tip… steer clear of too short, too tight and too low attire and easy on the snowballs!)
We have our Christmas party next week, so check out next weeks blog about how to survive the day after!
Enjoy one and all the HRREV Blogger